When the NBC editor finalizing the story on the Lighted Christmas Balls of Greensboro, she asked if we could put her in touch with other communities who had not only embraced the beauty and community aspects of the Lighted Christmas Balls but also focused that effort on the Shine the LIght on Hunger campaign. The folks at West Virginia University immediatedly came to mind. This is an email form the folks in Morgantown WVA to NBC.
We didn't collect money but rather collected specific items for the Backpack Project in Monongalia County. We selected just one of the sites that collects food for the backpacks (Scott's Run Settlement House - http://www.srsh.org/), but there are others in this county. They like items that are easy for kids to fix for themselves and filling.Yesterday, I delivered 647 servings total of fruit cups (168), mac & cheese (140), spag/rav (130), and oatmeal (209) to Scott's Run Settlement House. It was humbling to see their operation and to get a greater understanding of the need in this area. Hopefully, this will become an annual event, and we can collect more. We might even be able to have a competition between the various colleges here on campus next year!We had two workshops in my building and made at least two dozen lighted Christmas balls. Over the past few years, I've done workshops in the county where I live (Harrison) and have collected food for the local food pantries in my area. I don't do anything on the scale that the Smiths do in Greensboro, but maybe someday we can make a larger impact on the food pantries and the backpack programs. I'm fairly certain I have some more photos from other workshops if you need more. I attached one from the second workshop, and the FB post has pictures of lighted Christmas balls and the collected backpack food.At home, I have about a dozen lighted Christmas balls hanging in a tree below our house, and it is a nice conversation starter to make others aware of the dire hunger situation in our county, state, and nation. I think most people in our rural area know, but many times they don't know how they can help. Our church is one of many local churches and other faith-based organizations that support the backpack program. (My husband is originally from Greensboro, and my sister-in-law took me to see the Smith's neighborhood, and I was hooked on how beautiful they are and what they stood for to ShineTheLightOnHunger!)I am happy to help you in any way I can to help spread the word and to help people understand how they can help provide food and support to those in need. Please let me know what else I can do, OK?Thank you so much and I hope you have a great day, Becky